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New Girl Scout Cookies Still Have Trans Fats

Yet who Knows the Truth and Calls it a Lie, is a Criminal." -
In "Galileo Galilei" by Berthold Brecht (1898-1956)

Despite all the public uproar about trans fats that's pushed American cities to ban them along with fast-food restaurant chains, Girl Scout cookies still have them, even after changes to their recipes.

Again, it's all a matter of deceptive labeling, thanks to the folks at the FDA. Most varieties of Girl Scout cookies still contain some partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, but, because it's less than a half-gram per serving, the agency allows cookie makers to get away with calling them trans fat-free when they really aren't.

And, eating several servings a day -- not at all uncommon for people who buy these fatty, sugar-laden cookies every year -- means more trans fats patients don't need.

Here is an example of a letter that you can write to the Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts of the USA

Attention: President

420 Fifth Avenue

New York, New York 10018-2798

Dear GirlScouts of the USA:

I am writing to express my concerns about the unhealthy trans fats in your cookies that have been clearly associated with the development of heart disease, cancers, diabetes and Alzheimer's.

I am concerned that you are listing “Trans Fat 0g” on your cookie labels despite the fact that hydrogenated oils are trans fat.

I understand that the FDA labeling guidelines allow food manufacturers are allowed to list amounts of trans fat with less than 0.5 gram (1/2 g) as 0 (zero) on the Nutrition Facts panel. But just because the FDA legally allows you to list “0 grams trans fat” does not mean that you should. It is deceptive and assuming that a person will only eat 4 cookies for the rest of their life which is not true. How much trans fat does a person eat over a lifetime of eating Girl Scout cookies? We have no idea.

The FDA does not know to what extent small but cumulative amounts of trans fat can have on a person’s health and longevity. It is impossible to know.

What we do know is:

1. Trans fat is dangerous and leads to heart disease and cancer

2. It is possible to manufacture baked goods without trans fat or hydrogenated oils

(See Newman’s Own cookies for example, which do not contain hydrogenated oils and they are organic) http://www.newmansownorganics.com/food_newman-os.html# .

Even if your cookies did not contain trans fat, I still think that the revenue model of asking little girls to sell unhealthy toxic food to the public is teaching a poor example to our youth. In our modern age, our obesity epidemic is skyrocketing, and children are so overweight it is predicted they will die before their parents do. All of this is due to overconsumption of high carbohydrate junk food like cookies.

The Girl Scouts are in theory committed to teaching girls leadership, contributions to humanity, values and social consciousness but I fear they that your organization is sending mixed messages when you ask them to be junk food peddlers. I would like to suggest that you help the Girl Scouts take leadership on our obesity and diabetes epidemic and provide them with health-inducing products to sell instead of cookies.

But at the very least, do not list “0 trans fat” on your label when this is untrue.


(your name here)

(your contact info.)